24 October, 2007

Oh Vey! Busy Woman Working!

I'm not even halfway through my week and I am exhausted!!! Don't get me wrong, this week has been great, progressive and encouraging, but sometimes that can be just as exhausting as the difficult, digressive and discouraging weeks...

I need to be filled up. I need a good hour or two with good friends. But there are a few problems...

#1 My first stop is a call with my sisters or my mom. They get me. They get my brain and they understand my goofy issues...I've done that. Sadly, they live WAY TOO FAR AWAY and we are all WAY TOO BUSY for regular phone calls. We've also concluded that growing up we did each other a terrible disservice being best friends...we've set some incredibly high standards for friends...

#2 Sure, I can get together with some of our friends and have a nice stiff drink and plentiful laughs...but what about the values struggles? What about the relationship questions? What about those "womens" problems? Those can't exactly be the topic of polite happy-hour conversations...

#3 So, my next recourse would be church. I love church. There are great people at church. We have a Ladies Guild right? Yes and the membership is primarily 40+ women playing bunco and planning craft sales...okay, so that doesn't work either.

Where are our Catholic young people? Where do I find them? Specifically, where do I find young Catholic women? To quote a dear friend, I am tired of feeling like an island!!!

For those non-denominational friends out there who are saying, "Come to church with us! We have a women's ministry!", my polite answer has to be no (as much as I appreciate your friendship and your invitation). You just don't have what I need. I feel as much like an island at your church as I do at my own because I cannot partake in the Eucharistic feast and because in your small groups I can't be my authentic self, Catholic, without being frowned upon or challenged. So the answer must lie somewhere else, although I will admit doing research into that possibility.

We as women need each other. We need the kind of support system that our mothers and grandmothers had in their sisters, aunt and mothers. It is very hard for us to achieve that in today's transplantable society. We have compartmentalized ourselves from the world. We go to work in our cars by ourselves. We sit in our office or cubical by ourselves. We come home and crash in our own rooms. We spend our evening hours with a computer screen with one keyboard and one mouse. When we exercise we shut out the world with our IPODs and Zunes. Even at church we come in at the last minute, sit in "my regular pew", and leave the second the organ heaves its last note.

How are we supposed to find women of faith, value, and joy?

I want to encourage each of you to think about the women in your life. Do they uphold you? Do they bring you joy and color? Do you uphold them? If not, go to your parishes and your churches and share your struggle. Together we will get the message out. We need honest and loving women to hold us accountable and women with whom we can share the very essence of our lives.

I propose these seven initial steps. First we pray. Then we trust. Then we pray again. Then we look, we listen, and we ask. And then we pray again.

I am so blessed to be hosting a gathering of 8 women this weekend at my home. I ask for your prayers. I hope it will be a gathering of great joy, sharing, and support; somewhere that a woman can come to be filled up by other women who will uphold her value system and faith-life.

God gave us others to walk the journey with. Let's find them offer our hand in friendship.

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